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Pacific League News and Notes: January 31, 2011

by on Jan.31, 2011 @ 3:57 pm, under NPB

This post will be updated throughout the day.


Chiba Lotte Marines

A number of players worked out at Ishigaki Baseball Stadium today.

Acting owner Akio Shigemitsu visited Ishigaki Baseball Stadium today and told reporters he was satisfied with the renovations made to the stadium (seems he especially liked the part about it having the same dimensions as Chiba Marine Stadium).

Incidentally, Ishigaki Keizai Shimbun lists some of the changes: new dimensions (99.5 meters to left and right and 122 to center), about 8,000 seats (infield and outfield), and the scoreboard is now in full color.  I also managed to find a YouTube video of the opening ceremony.

Nippon Ham Fighters

The Fighters held a press conference for Micah Hoffpauir at the team hotel in Nago, Okinawa today.  Hoffpauir told reporters he was a doubles hitter and that he liked to focus on driving runners in.

Yu Darvish will probably take things slow during spring camp.  With the season starting a little later than usual, the Fighters' are also thinking about waiting to use Darvish in practice games until late-February.  Darvish has also said he wanted to take things slow so he can give his body some time to adjust to the added weight (he's told the media the most he might do on the first day of camp is toss a light bullpen session to a standing catcher).

Eiichi Koyano will be starting things off at Ni-gun spring camp due to back pains.  Koyano closed out his training in Nago, Okinawa on Sunday and will be in Kunigami, Okinawa on Monday in preparation for the start of Ni-gun spring camp.

Orix Buffaloes

The Buffaloes held a full team meeting today.

About 100 members of the press gathered at Chan Ho Park and Seung-Yeop Lee's press conference yesterday.  5 Korean media companies also sent 11 reporters to cover the event.

Rakuten Eagles

The Eagles held a press conference for Kelvin Jimenez at the player's hotel  in Kumejima, Okinawa today.

Senichi Hoshino, the Ichi-gun and Ni-gun players, and team personnel (about 130 in all) arrived in Kumejima, Okinawa today and took part in a welcoming ceremony.  Around 1,000 fans showed up for the event.  After that, Hoshino went off to check out Kumejima training grounds (stadium, secondary field, bullpen).

Around 560 fans showed up for Takeshi Yamasaki's pep rally event on Sunday.

There were about 200 fans when the Rakuten Eagles dropped by Osaki Hachimangu Shrine yesterday.

Seibu Lions

The Seibu Lions arrived in Miyazaki today.

Softbank Hawks

The Softbank Hawks arrived at Miyazaki airport today (as was originally planned) in two groups -- the B group arrived at 5pm and the A group past 6pm.

Tsuyoshi Wada held a 20 minute "meeting" with Toru Hosokawa during his practice session at the Saitozaki training grounds on Sunday.  Seems Wada wants to take advantage of Hosokawa's knowledge on the Lions' hitters -- Wada was 1-4 in 5 starts with an 8.04 ERA / 1.68 WHIP against the Lions last season; further, over the last 8 years, Wada has only had one winning season against the Lions (5-1 in 2003).  The team as a whole also did not do well against the Lions at Seibu Dome: 2-10 with a 5.60 ERA.

As for Hosokawa, he wants to make as much time as possible to talk with his new teammates and get used to his new team (he wants to go out and eat dinner with them during spring camp and learn more about what they're all thinking).  On Sunday, he played catch at a distance of about 70 meters and said that his shoulder was still only at about 50%.  He also said he still had a hard time remembers the names and faces of the younger players and was rely on Tadashi Settsu (they're both from Tohoku region) to help him out.